Cholesterol is a substance produced by your body. Your liver produces approximately 75% of the cholesterol you require. The remainder of your cholesterol requirements are met by the foods you consume. Cholesterol is a naturally occurring waxy substance. It circulates in your blood throughout your body. It is also present in your cells. You need enough cholesterol for your body and brain to function properly. To know more about Panchakarma Ayurveda, consult Adyant Ayurveda.
They accomplish this in the following ways:
- Building vitamin D
- Producing cell membranes
- Making digestive fluids like bile
- Producing hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol
TYPES OF CHOLESTEROL:
There are two kinds of cholesterol.
Your body produces two kinds of cholesterol. One type of cholesterol is “bad” cholesterol. The other type of cholesterol is “good” cholesterol.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a type of “bad” cholesterol. It’s bad because too much LDL in your body can cause fatty deposits in your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a type of “good” cholesterol. It’s beneficial because it binds to and eliminates excess cholesterol from your arteries. This prevents excess cholesterol from negatively impacting your health.
Too much cholesterol can slowly build up in the arteries leading to your heart and brain. This can lead to health issues later on. As a result, you want to keep your LDL cholesterol low and good HDL cholesterol high.
This can be difficult for some people. High cholesterol levels, for example, may run in your family. However, there are numerous natural ways to lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health.
AYURVEDIC VIEW OF CHOLESTEROL:
Ayurveda does not view cholesterol in the same way that Western medicine does. Medas is a dhatu (tissue) in Ayurveda that may be related to cholesterol or adipose tissue and may support various circulatory channels (shrotas) within the body.
There are two kinds of shrotas:
- Sukshma shrotas (subtle)
- Sthula shrotas (heavy).
While micro shrotas help transport nutrients and waste to and from cells, larger shrotas (veins and arteries) transport blood into and out of the heart. Cholesterol plays an important role in this process by lubricating the channels.
So, healthy cholesterol is not only important for health, but it is also necessary. However, when Ama (toxins) levels in fat tissue rise, the channels may become clogged. A more dangerous type of Ama, known as Amavisha, develops when Ama is present in the body for an extended period of time. When Amavisha is not cleansed for an extended period of time, it may begin to mix with the dhatu (body tissues) and mala (waste). This mix-up could harm the shrotas and lead to health issues like high cholesterol, heart problems, high blood pressure, and stroke.
However, Ayurveda recognizes that high cholesterol levels can lead to various health issues, including heart disease and stroke. According to Ayurvedic practitioners, high cholesterol is caused by an imbalance in the body’s doshas, particularly the Kapha dosha.
Ayurveda recommends a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as the use of natural remedies, to manage high cholesterol levels. Ayurveda recommends reducing the consumption of fatty and oily foods, increasing the consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and incorporating more spices and herbs into the diet.
Regular exercise, stress management techniques, and the use of natural remedies such as herbs like Guggulu, arjuna, and shilajit, which have traditionally been used to lower cholesterol levels, are also recommended by Ayurveda.
It should be noted that Ayurveda should only be practiced under the supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and should not be used in place of conventional medical care.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR CHOLESTEROL MANAGEMENT
Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine from India, offers various treatments and lifestyle recommendations for managing cholesterol levels. Here are some Ayurvedic approaches that may help:
- Diet: Follow a balanced and nutritious diet that includes whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins. Avoid processed foods, fried foods, excessive salt, and sugar.
- Herbal Remedies: Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna): This herb is known for its cardioprotective properties and may help lower cholesterol levels. b. Guggul (Commiphora mukul): Guggul is commonly used in Ayurveda for managing high cholesterol. It helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels while increasing good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Triphala: This herbal blend, consisting of three fruits (Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki), is believed to have cholesterol-lowering effects and promotes overall well-being.
- Lifestyle Recommendations Regular Exercise: Engage in physical activities such as walking, jogging, yoga, or any other form of exercise for at least 30 minutes a day to improve metabolism and manage cholesterol levels. Stress Management: Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to lower stress levels, which can contribute to high cholesterol. Weight Management: Maintain a healthy weight as excess weight can contribute to high cholesterol levels.
4. Ayurvedic Treatments: Panchakarma: Panchakarma is a detoxification and rejuvenation therapy that may be recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners to eliminate toxins from the body and promote overall health. Abhyanga: This is a form of Ayurvedic massage using warm herbal oils. It is believed to improve circulation, reduce stress, and support overall well-being.
Changes in Diet and Lifestyle
As previously stated, it is critical to manage Kapha in order to control cholesterol. In this case, a Kapha-balancing diet is essential. Furthermore, a sedentary lifestyle may be harmful to one’s cholesterol levels. Excess calories, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and engaging in regular workouts can all help your body eliminate toxins. This can lower your body’s Ama levels. As a result, Amavisha will decrease, allowing cholesterol to lubricate and support the nutrient transportation and waste elimination processes more efficiently.
Heat therapy can also aid in the reduction of LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the body.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains a lot of polyphenols. These are chemical compounds that aid in blood pressure control and the health and flexibility of blood vessels. This promotes proper blood flow throughout the body. Drinking green tea twice a day can provide significant benefits because polyphenols not only help lower LDL cholesterol but can also increase HDL levels in the body.
The removal of bad cholesterol aids in keeping your shrotas clean, lubricated, and flexible.
Coriander seeds have long been included in a variety of Ayurvedic remedies. This is due to the high levels of folic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin C in these seeds. Because of these nutrients, coriander seeds are an excellent remedy for hastening your body’s detoxification process. In terms of application, you can soak one teaspoon of coriander seeds in a glass of water overnight. You can remove the seeds in the morning and drink the water sip by sip. When consumed on a regular basis, this can help cleanse your system and remove excess Ama.
Coriander also has Kapha balancing properties, which can help with cholesterol management.
Methi seeds, also known as fenugreek seeds, have long been used to flavor food. However, its applications extend beyond that. Since ancient times, fenugreek seeds have been used for their medicinal properties. This seed is high in Vitamin E and has anti-diabetic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Saponins are abundant in fenugreek seeds. These glycosidic compounds aid in the elimination of bad cholesterol from the body, thereby improving blood flow. Half a spoon of fenugreek seeds, taken twice a day, can help with all types of cholesterol issues.
An Amla Every Day
Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is a fruit native to the Indian subcontinent. Amla’s high Vitamin C and polyphenol content is one of its best qualities. And we can see how it would be ideal for dealing with the effects of high cholesterol.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology estimated its efficacy and potential. According to the research, Amla’s cholesterol-lowering effects can be compared to those of clinically prescribed drugs.
To reap the benefits, consume at least one to two Amla fruits per day. This could be your ideal Ayurvedic cholesterol treatment.
Foods to Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a health condition that is largely determined by the foods you consume or do not consume. While the foods mentioned in the preceding sections can help manage and lower cholesterol, the foods listed below can worsen it.
Avoid eating the following foods to help manage your cholesterol:
- Processed or deli-style meats (such as gammon, bacon, and salami)
- Foods that have been deep-fried.
- Foods that have been processed (such as biscuits and pastries).
- Pizzas and burgers are examples of fast food/junk food.
- Meat fats and chicken skin.
- Copha, ghee, and lard.
- Oil from palm trees.
Herbal Supplements to Lower Cholesterol
Previously, Ayurveda linked cholesterol imbalance to Kapha dosha. According to Ayurveda, when Kapha levels in the body fall below optimal and Ama levels rise, toxins mix with the tissues and attack the shrotas.
Ayurvedic medicine, on the other hand, has a list of herbs that are said to have the potential to manage high cholesterol conditions. While it may be difficult to find herbs that quickly lower cholesterol, the following herbs may help manage it:
Haritaki, Guggul, Amalaki, Shilajit (Suddha), Bibhitaki, Arjuna, and Triphala are all commonly used herbs in Ayurveda for their various medicinal properties. Here’s a brief explanation of each:
Also known as Terminalia chebula, Haritaki is a fruit that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is considered a powerful rejuvenating herb and is used to treat a variety of ailments, including constipation, respiratory issues, and digestive problems. Haritaki is also believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties.
Guggul is a resin derived from the Commiphora mukul tree and is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat high cholesterol, obesity, and arthritis. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and studies have shown that it can help lower cholesterol levels.
Also known as Indian Gooseberry, Amalaki is a fruit that is rich in Vitamin C and has been used in Ayurveda for its various medicinal properties. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is commonly used to treat digestive issues, respiratory problems, and skin disorders.
- Shilajit (Suddha):
Shilajit is a sticky resin found in the Himalayan mountains and is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine as a general tonic. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is used to treat a variety of conditions, including fatigue, stress, and high blood pressure.
Bibhitaki is a fruit that is commonly used in Ayurveda to treat digestive issues, respiratory problems, and skin disorders. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is also used as a rejuvenating herb.
Arjuna is a tree whose bark is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat cardiovascular problems. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is used to strengthen the heart, reduce blood pressure, and improve circulation.
Triphala is a combination of three fruits – Amalaki, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki – and is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive tonic. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is used to treat constipation, digestive issues, and skin disorders. Triphala is also believed to have a rejuvenating effect on the body.
Bitter foods include spinach, chard, kale, and mustard greens. When cooked and seasoned with spices, these greens help cleanse the bowel and thus prevent the accumulation of bad cholesterol. Avoid foods that are sweet, sour, or salty.
According to Ayurveda, cholesterol is essential for supporting and lubricating the body’s numerous circulatory channels, known as shrotas. The shrotas are the body’s circulatory channels; micro-shrotas transport nutrients to and waste from cells.
Panchakarma Therapy. Meditation, yoga, and massages that detoxify and strengthen the body are part of this ayurvedic cholesterol treatment. According to one study, participating in a panchakarma program for one week can help regulate cholesterol and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Previously, Ayurveda linked cholesterol imbalance to Kapha dosha.